Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

August 28, 2012  2:32 PM

Call tree definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Your call list should have designated backups for each key individual and multiple contact information for them as well. If you are using a call tree, make sure that you have a loop back so that the last person on the list will confirm that the call was made.”Harvey Betan

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the day is call tree. A call tree — sometimes referred to a phone tree, call list, phone chain or text chain — is a telecommunications chain for sharing news.  In the enterprise, a call tree can be carried out with software that automatically attempts to reach individuals on the contact list.  If the call tree is done manually, the last person on the list should contact the first person on the list to complete the chain.

August 27, 2012  4:50 PM

BYOA (bring your own apps)

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“It is inevitable people will use these apps for personal and business use. The challenge for enterprise IT departments is balancing the productivity gains of BYOA with the security and business continuity risks,” — Rodney Gedda

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is BYOA (bring your own apps).  BYOA may prove to be a bigger security threat than BYOD (bring your own device) ever was.

August 20, 2012  6:18 PM

Exchange Server 2013

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Exchange 2013 appears to be more evolutionary than revolutionary…The new features seem to specifically address the shortcomings of Exchange 2010 and should make life easier for administrators and users alike..” — Brian Posey

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. It’s currently available in preview mode.

August 20, 2012  4:26 PM

Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“The core CSIRT team can include representatives from major operating system groups, a network engineer and a member from the application group, for example. Ad hoc team members could be a person from the specific group involved in the potential data breach.” — Nick Lewis

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is CSIRT (pronounced “see-sert”).  The acronym stands for Computer Security Incident Response Team, an organizational group composed of IT, legal, human resources and corporate management.

CSIRT members usually have high security clearances within the organization and getting that clearance for “the right people” can be a big pain point.  The solution? Get  your core CSIRT team certified and waiting in the wings — and then pull in everyone else you need on an “ad-hoc” basis when the you-know-what hits the fan.

August 20, 2012  4:11 PM

Even a total disaster is a successful DR test

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“A successful DR test will have highlighted flaws in the plan and help move it to the next level of maturity. Even if the entire recovery procedure fails, having identified that failure denotes a successful test.”Pierre Dorion

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is DR test, the examination of each step in a disaster recovery program, as outlined in the business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) planning process.

August 20, 2012  3:57 PM

Retina display (Apple)

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Retina screens are just a marketing concept, but there exists real science behind the nomenclature. It has to do with how your eye works and how you use your specific device. You hold a phone closer than a tablet, and you’ll probably hold a tablet closer to you than you would your laptop.” —J.R. Nelson

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Retina display,a backlit LCD (liquid crystal display) that provides resolution levels of 220 to 326 pixels per inch.

By the way, if you’re curious about what our definition for laptop looks like in Serbo-Croatian, Jovana Milutinovich recently posted a translation. Jovana is currently studing Computer Science at the University of Belgrade,Serbia. We wish her the best of luck in her studies!

August 20, 2012  3:27 PM


Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“LevelUp participating merchants don’t have to pay credit card companies’ nasty payment processing fees — that range between 3% and 6% of each transaction.” — Peter Cohan

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is LevelUp, a popular mobile payment (m-payment) and rewards service for consumer business transactions using smartphones.

August 17, 2012  1:02 PM

The Internet of Things is already here — it’s eating grass right there out in the pasture

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“At first glance, the Internet of Things concept can appear as yet another vendor attempt to get end users to install more products they may not really need in the hopes of achieving some kind of business acceleration nirvana. In reality, it’s the end users who are driving vendors down this road to adopt an Internet of Things way of thinking.” — David Greenfield

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Internet of Things, a scenario in which every single thing you can think of has a unique identifier and the ability to communicate over the Internet or a similar wide-area network (WAN).

The concept has been around for about ten years when it was first associated with RFID tags, bar codes and supply chain management. Today, IoT is a hot buzzword used in city planning, big data analytics, automobile manufacturing — and just about any other industry you can think of.

I get it. Internet of Things is another name for machine-to-machine (M2M) communicaiton. Pervasive computing.  “Smart” everything. It’s especially a hot topic for privacy advocates. They don’t like the idea one bit.

My smart car sends data to my phone to tell me I have half a tank of gas left. My smart electric meter can send usage data to the power company and my son will never get a job as a meter reader.

But I didn’t REALLY get the concept of Internet of Things until I saw a foal being born three months ago.

You see, this particular foal was bred to be a show horse.  Her birth required a lot of help from the Internet and this little filly is one of the “things” in the Internet of Things. She’s not a machine, she’s a real live horse. But her parents each have a unique identifier — she has a unique identifier  — and without the Internet, machine-to-machine communication and real-time analytics, she would never have been born.

The horse that just gave birth in the picture above is a brood mare — a surrogate.  The filly’s real mother is a show horse worth tens and tens of thousands of dollars.

The people who own the show horse wanted to breed her — but decided to have a surrogate carry the foal. Horses carry their  young for 11 months — that’s a year off the show circuit, which translates into a financial loss.  And if something went wrong during the pregnancy and the mare died, the owner would lose any chance for future income from the horse.   For similar risk-management reasons, the filly’s dad is a sperm donor.  Yep, show horses are an investment.

So far, this story is kind of “old school.”  The scenario above could have taken place on any horse breeding farm in the 1970’s.   The only technology involved is maybe a telephone.  There’s no Internet of Things.  It’s just another artificial insemination story. Yawn.

To paraphrase that old radio host Paul Harvey… “And now for the REST of the story.”

After the show mare’s owners decided to bred their award-winning mare, they needed to find a surrogate whose breeding cycle matched their own mare’s.

They used the Internet and a distributed database,  not a telephone, to find a compatible mare.  The information in the database is captured in real time from equine veterinary records around the world and the records contain real-time data sent by enhanced RFID chips implanted in the horses.

The brood mare just happened to be out in Wyoming running with a herd, so a helicopter equipped with an RFID scanner found her and separated her from the rest of the herd.

Then a vet in Wyoming used PACS and telepatholgy  to share images and other data with the vet in New York to make sure the mares were in sync — and the egg from the show horse in New York was removed and flown to Wyoming.  (The owners used another database registry on the Internet to search for the right sire.  His sperm was captured and also sent to Wyoming.)

Timing was everything and it couldn’t have happened without the Internet. The logistics were coordinated with the help of UPS so the egg and sperm would arrive at exactly the same time and the brood mare could be impregnated.

Once the vet in Wyoming determined there was a viable pregnancy, the brood mare was returned to her herd and monitored by the GPS in her chip and satellite imaging. Her vet monitored her remotely;  heart rate and temperature were just a mouse away.

Seven months later, the helicopter went out and culled the brood mare from the herd again so she could be flown to Ravena, New York, where the trainer took charge of the brood mare and awaited the foal’s  birth.Three months after that, the show horse’s filly was born, healthy and beautiful.

The filly was chipped with an even more enhanced RFID technology than her parents have.  When she grows up, she’ll have a tag on her halter that automates how much grain she receives.  Her water trough will know when it’s low and automatically refill itself.  Sensors in her stall will regulate the temperature by turning on fans or turning on the heat.  Her trainers can use desktop, iPad or iPad  apps to monitor the filly’s heath and report on whether she’s in a stall or out grazing in a pasture.

When I heard this whole story about the helicopter scanner using the mare’s RFID tag to locate the right horse, it finally clicked.  This filly, who is about the size of a llama now — and puts everything in her mouth just as every baby does — is a walking, grass-eating member of  the Internet of Things.  And if we humans work out the privacy issues that surround the concept, so will we be some day.

The filly doesn’t have a name yet.  I’m voting for IoT.

August 15, 2012  5:57 PM

802.11ac, otherwise known as Gigabit Wi-Fi

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“By the time the IEEE finalizes 802.11ac and its shorter-range sibling 802.11ad, max data rates will reach 7 Gbps—another order of magnitude..” — Lisa Phifer

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is 802.11ac,  also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi. It’s a proposed specification for the 802.11 family that promises faster throughput.

August 14, 2012  1:00 AM

Word of the Day: Nexus 7

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“The Google Nexus 7 is not only the first device to run the new Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, it’s also Google’s response to the Amazon Kindle Fire and the latest entry in the consumption/budget tablet market. ” — Grant Hatchimonji

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Nexus 7,  a tablet PC developed jointly by Google and Asus. Two versions were released in July 2012:  the 8 GB (gigabytes) version sells for $199 and the 16 GB version sells for $249.

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